For the debut of its new MGA in 1955, MG wisely chose that year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race; after a succession of open-wheeled models there were fears of an adverse reaction to such a streamlined car, and it was felt that by showing the MGA in competition first the aerodynamic shape would be accepted as a performance essential. There had been some delays, however, in getting the go-ahead for production, MG owner BMC declining, having already agreed with Donald Healey to built the Austin Healey 100; it was the success of a highly streamlined MGA prototype, which took several records up to 153 mph, which finally persuaded BMC to relent.
The competition successes of the ZA Magnette had already proven the potential of its new 1,498 cc four-cylinder engine and this was chosen for the new MGA. With 68 bhp at 5,550 rpm – soon raised to 72 bhp – the MGA was capable of 0-60 mph in 15 seconds and 97 mph while the predictable handling, via independent coil spring front suspension and live leaf-sprung rear axle, was almost foolproof. The car was an instant success and in 1956 the roadster was joined by a fixed head coupe.
The high performance MGA model, the Twin Cam, was launched in 1958. With aluminum crossflow cylinder head, larger SU carburetors and 1,588cc capacity, power rose to 108bhp at 6,780rpm, as did top speed to 115mph with 0-60 reduced to an impressive 9.1 seconds. It had all-round Dunlop disc brakes and center-lock disc wheels. Production ceased in April 1960 with just 2,111 examples made.
This Twin Cam roadster was restored a number of years ago and has since seen very little use, having resided in a substantial private collection. Correctly finished in British Racing Green with black leather upholstery and carpets, the car is described as good in all respects.